Christian school passes third reading

Mission council approves application that sees Valley Christian move to a permanent site

A development application by Valley Christian School (VCS) received second and third reading at a public hearing March 28 that would see them move into a new facility on Cedar Street between Rosetta and Tunbridge.

The school was relocated last year to portables set up at Cedar and Dewdney Trunk Road for the 2011-12 school year from its old location at Cedar and Cherry because their lease expired and the buildings were demolished.

The application calls for Phase Two of the Cedar Valley official community plan (OCP) to be amended from suburban to institutional education to accommodate the school, rather than the townhomes called for under the current plan.

The 1.3 acre site will house a seven-classroom school with washrooms, storage rooms, a multi-purpose room, front reception area, administrative offices, first-aid room, and a chapel.

The district would actually gain $26,241 in development cost charges by approving the rezoning, though Coun. Jenny Stevens said she wishes the school had found a location other than Cedar Valley.

“It’s clearly to the benefit of the community to have this school. My worry is about where it is, and to some extent when it is,” she said, explaining it’s a little premature to amend phase two of the OCP before the first phase has been completed.

Phase one called for high-density construction along Cedar Street in order to fund the second phase of development in Cedar Valley.

But Paul Burns, chairman of VCS’ board of directors, said he inquired about leasing or purchasing public schools which have been closed by the province and are currently in disuse, such as Ferndale and Fraserview, but was turned down.

Coun. Dave Hensman said a school and two churches already exist on Cedar Street and a variety of uses should be approved.

Council voted 7-0 to move the application past second and third reading.

Valley Christian’s enrolment is about 100 students.